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Is North Korea (DPRK) really evil?

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Enraged American Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:23 PM
Original message
Is North Korea (DPRK) really evil?
North Korea is the epitome of socialism. I have researched it extensively and would love to visit. It seems like our government just can't stand the thought of any country that can't be bought and overrun by our corporations being able to acquire weapons as deterrents.

Can I get some input here?
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jackcgt Donating Member (60 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. I don't think you really want to visit, man. No kidding. n/t
.
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Enraged American Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Have you been there? No?
Then don't feed me GWB propaganda. The worst I've heard about tours to North Korea is that hotels are frequently virtually empty and the empty floors aren't lighted. So... what? I've been to Beijing, and the hotel had a similar policy of being almost unilluminated. I've also heard of everything but national monuments being off limits for tourists. It's still worth my money.
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WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. North Korea is NOTHING close to socialism
It's a totalitarian dictatorship. Do workers control factories in NK? No. Do North Koreans have the ability to leave the country whenever they want? No.

Let's see, you're sporting a Kucinich avatar and talking up North Korea as socialist? Yeah, talk about GWB propaganda!
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Enraged American Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. You haven't been there.
You don't KNOW! Goddammit. And the communist (slowly being more and more capitalist) govt of China is pretty bad too, right? Wrong. Social services and quality of life in China are probably some of the best in Asia (excluding Japan, Singapore, etc.).
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WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Neither have you, but you are willing to believe NK propaganda?
ha ha - best in Asia, excluding Japan and Singapore - good one :)

Either you are dangerously naive or you are just discrediting Kucinich, a progressive populist who in no way shape or form would shill for the totalitarian dictators in North Korea.

All you are doing is discrediting us, go away.
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jackcgt Donating Member (60 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. China has also converted to what amounts to a market economy
in its big cities. As a result, the government has found it increasingly difficult to control the actions of the people living in those big cities. This has led to a relaxing of what used to be stricter controls on the individual.

North Koreans do not even have a modicum of individual freedom whatsoever. NONE.

Give it up.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
21. Well, maybe an extremely perverted form of socialism, but still doubtful
http://www.koreascope.org/english/sub/2/nk1_4.htm

This link has this quote "The personality cult has transformed North Korea into adictatorial state ruled by a divine right of one person, and over-emphasis on self-reliance (Juche, my words) has made North Korean society grow to be a closed one.

This is some weird stuff

Here is a site of some of the adherents of Juche
http://www.korea-dpr.com/jisge /

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jackcgt Donating Member (60 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Have you been there? No?
So then whatever you read about it is filtered through the eyes of someone with an axe to grind, like you apparently think I do.

By the way, Beijing is NOTHING like Pyong Yang. Nothing. Beijing is, for all intents and purposes, just another Asian city like Tokyo or Seoul. But seriously, there's a REASON why you can fly straight from the US to China, but NOT to Pyong Yang. You can fly from Miami to Havana, even, but try going to FNJ (DPRK Airport) and you'll get nothing. This isn't because the US hates them. It's because it dangerous.

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Blitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
34. And room service is slow
and the drinks are watered down. LOL.

Please, by all means, go! Hit a few clubs, catch a ballgame, paint the town red, have a ball!

Then, when you're done partying, perhaps you can protest a few government policies. That way, you won't have to worry about a return trip.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
3. Ummm...
Try not to trip over the starving people eating grass--- I doubt your AMEX traveler's health-care card will be accepted for treatment of your broken ankle.
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Enraged American Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. How can you believe that?
This is like the propaganda shit we've been brainwashed to believe ever since Truman about the USSR.
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mddemo Donating Member (215 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. are you serious
Hell even the chinese accept that N korea is a craphole, and having been to china, i can tell you that means a lot. you think all the people trying to get out are just moles planted by the south koreans, or the japanese kidnappees are just figments of imagination.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Enraged American Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Really?
Maybe that's because the most, or all, of the people from the USSR you know are people who now live in America. You've got to be joking if you think the mob-ruled Russia of today was better than the USSR. They can't hardly even sell their own f---ing vodka domestically! In France and Belgium I know plenty of people who are refugees from the current Russian gov. Give me a break.

Truman destroyed the alliances Roosevelt sought so hard to build. And he contributed several propagandistic quotes worthy of Bush (e-hem "The buck stops here"?). Please.
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WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. go shill for commies somewhere else
No one in the Kucinich campaign has ANY interest in Stalinist dupes.
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knight_of_the_star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #12
68. Go read a history book sometime
And show me the chapter where Russia is NOT pretty much fucked up in some way or another. Have you found that chapter yet? I didn't think so.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
25. I have known several students from Georgia
And they had some pretty positive things to say about the USSR. For instance they liked the fact that their country used to have universities that they could have attended, instead of having to go to Germany for a higher education and the opportunity to have a career.
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WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. In the USSR, you could be put in jail for listening to the Beatles
Cut this bullshit out.
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Even the White Album?
Flew in from Miami Beach BOAC
Didn't get to bed last night
On the way the paper bag was on my knee
Man I had a dreadful flight
I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in the U.S.S.R.

Been away so long I hardly knew the place
Gee it's good to be back home
Leave it till tomorrow to unpack my case
Honey disconnect the phone
I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in the U.S.S.R.

Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia's always on my mind.

I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boys
Back in the U.S.S.R.

Show me round your snow peaked mountains way down south
Take me to your daddy's farm
Let me hear your balalaika's ringing out
Come and keep your comrade warm.
I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boys
Back in the U.S.S.R.
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WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Yes - McCartney just played the song in Russia a few weeks ago
to a sold out audience. They were telling stories about how they smuggled Beatles cassettes and even copied them onto X-Rays that could be copied out to an audio tape. Under pain of PRISON.

A very good friend of mine who grew up in Kiev told me similar stories, the Beatles were very popular, but were not allowed in the USSR because of their "morality" - yes, that's right, the Communists thought the Beatles were immoral sexually and didn't want their youth listening to it.

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Blitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. The stories are true
My parents used to listen to smuggled Beatles albums. It was VERY illegal. Books by American (and other Western) authors were smuggled in and passed friend to friend. It was a completely bizarre, paranoid, irrational country.

Today's russia is a mess on many, many levels but anybody who thinks that what was there before was better is, frankly, ignorant.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. Hey, you asked
The collapse of the USSR has not been a fantastic thing for the people living there. I think that the Bush administration sucks, but if getting rid of it means that the economy is going to shrink by 50 over 8 years, the country will break up into a patchwork of corrupt oligachies with massive crime, and that I will be unable to persue a meaningful career then I would probably not be so keen on replacing it.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. "Crap about the USSR?" Excuse me?????
I grew up on Chcago's NW side (since 1994), and Russia was every bit as bad as Truman said it was, if not WORSE, according to the Russian immigrants who lived there.

North Korea is not some socialist worker's paradise! Why do you think we, the South koreans and the Japanese have shipped MASSIVE quantities of food to them? Good will? No, it's because the country is being run into the ground, its population STARVED, etc.
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Blitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #4
28. I'm guessing you've never been to the USSR
It was everything it was described as and then some. Truman didn't lie and Reagan wasn't too far off when he called it The Evil Empire. Since the USSR is gone (for good, I hope), you'll never see it in all its demented glory, so I can only recommend that you read a few books and talk to some actual victims ... um, I mean citizens of the former USSR.

That being said, I understand that North Korea is as bad or worse than the USSR ever was (well, post-Stalin). Its leader is legitimately out of his mind and its people have starved by the thousands.

Consider this:

North Korea and South Korea: The same people, the same cultural background, essentially the same terrain, climate and natural resources.

One is a leading modern economic power that is completely integrated into tohe global community. The other is a backwards totalitarian state virtually no non-military accomplishments or resources.

And it's not just that they can't get a latte and a good newspaper on the way to IKEA. Between 1995 and 1999 hundreds of thousands north Koreans starved to death. Some put the number at as much as 3,500,000 people. People were eating ROCKS. As many as one in eight people died and the North Korean government kept it quiet. Hundreds of thousands fled TO China so that they could eat something. All this while the government continued to shun international aid and build up its military. This was RECENT. It's STILL HAPPENING.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/433641.st...

http://www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf/0/6a66332ad0c74ce1c1...

By all means, go to North Korea. Maybe you'll learn something (and take some power bars in case you can't locate a convenient Chucky Cheese's).
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MariMayans Donating Member (250 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
8. I don't believe in evil..
However NK is a highly repressive, paranoid, police state. Korea has a terrible history and I can see the appeal of paranoia considering their history with every foreign nation in the area, but it really is bad. The place is broken down into a social class where you are only really safe if your family was part of the known Kim Jung Il early supporters, if not you are viewed suspiciously and if anyone in your family ever had contact with the Japanese or South Korea you are shunned and imprisoned randomly.

It's not a great place
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Snow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:43 PM
Response to Original message
16. Where have you researched it that leads you
to want to visit? There are some very beautiful places there, granted, but there really is no point denying that the place has enormous problems. It's not really socialist, it's more like a monarchy, and a pretty incompetent one at that. Okay, before you type in another snappy comeback, no, I haven't been but have several friends
- friend a, a realtor in her sixties, has relatives in Pyoungyang and in recent years has been allowed to visit, usually once per year. She always takes food, whatever she can pack - money, gold - her relatives have been given some extra privilege because of her. Nevertheless, their situation is very tight, and they personally know of many people who are starving!.
- friend b is a surgeon in his 80's who grew up in the same village with Kim Ilsung, and went to visit him frequently. He even had his own special cottage for use whenever he wanted, by a pleasant lake in some hills near Pyoungyang. Nevertheless, he also reports that the country is suffering, a lot.

- friend c is a resteraunt owner in Seoul, mid-40's who left Pyoungyang through a bcakdoor because "everyone was dying". She was a well-known tv personality in NK.

- finally, statistics on height and weight of NK army recruits over the years have been obtained and analyzed....those guys weren't very big even in the 60's, but they're down to 5'3" at last look, for the average 18 year old male army recruit.

Perhaps you need to broaden your research a bit.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #16
65. I want to visit the Planet Mercury
I hear life is verdant and there's no pollution and everyone treats everyone with respect.

If you haven't been there, I don't want to hear any crap either.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
17. Is Amnesty an instrument of GOP propaganda?
They have a good bit of information which strongly suggests that North Korea is not a worker's paradise.

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onecitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
18. I dunno EA.........
I watched a 60 minutes segment that turned my stomach. I had no idea. This guy that runs the place is nutso. I mean really nutso. He is letting his people starve to death but gives the military anything they want. He has a city with big,tall elaborate buildings with roads, stoplights and women directing traffic but there is no traffic. The city is for show only. These poor people have to stand there and pretend to be directing traffic!! And they are so weak from not having nutrition. The buildings are empty. He's crazy. Wouldn't wanna go there unless it was to liberate those people. THAT's who needed our help, N.Korea. But hey. I guess they don't have the right stuff under their feet for bush to give a damn.
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HalfManHalfBiscuit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
19. One of the worst countries on earth
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0062737384/sr%3D...

I would recommend this book. The World's Most Dangerous Places. Kind of a reference book for adventurers. Really interesting accounts by people who have been to these places. (The US is included as a dangerous place.)

North Korea is the worst of the worst. I don't have my copy with me, but I think they describe it as having more in common with Mars than Earth. Basically the most brutal, repressive regime on earth coupled with amazing poverty.
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Enraged American Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Even if it is that bad.
which I don't believe it is. I am still CURIOUS to see how bad it is. I don't like having Whocountsthevotes against me, so I'll say that I don't KNOW about North Korea's quality of life.

And what about America's propaganda about Cuba? I know plenty of Cubans here (not the rich capitalist exploiters who fled during the revolution). Many of them say that Cuba isn't bad at all.
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NicoleM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #23
36. let's say you go there
What if it is as bad as everybody here says it is? Are you going there to try to do something about it? Or are you just looking to be proven right?
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Snow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #23
53. Okay, this is progress....
You're not breathing fire on us for suggesting that the place has problems, and you have curiousity. That's a good step towards an open mind. Look up my friend Bruce Cummings and see what his current thoughts on NK are. He's an old Peace Corps Korea buddy and a considerable scholar on Korea - and, some years ago, one of the more notorious Western apologists for Kim Ilsung. It'd be interesting to see where he is these days....and I frankly don't know; we've lost touch. Cuba is out of my realm of knowledge altogether except for having had some friends where I used to live who were Cuban refugees and descendants thereof - but from Batista, not Castro. However, while I understand your anger with the BFEE for what they've done with NK - cutting off the oil, then villanizing them for trying to restart their nuke plants - then waving swords at them when NK starts feeling threatened and makes scary noises - this does not make NK a good place just because BFEE is saying bad things about them. They, like Saddam, really are bad guys. And for once, it's not a bad guy that the US government put in power. Their whole existence, however, seems centered around threats from the outside - specifically the US, and South Korea whom they regard as a US tool - and they sublimate everything else to defending against that threat. This tends to run your country into the ground and below, especially when one of your main patrons goes belly-up. But it's reasonable, given the history of outside - Russian, Japanese, and US - aggression. Did you know gunboats tried to invade Korea at Inchon in the late 1800's and were repulsed by the forts at that harbor, by command of King Kojong? In the north now the king has a kingly life-style, that doesn't help either, but probably in all doesn't add that much to the problem. The king's administrative incompetence is rather a larger problem.

By the way, Sweetheart, it sounds like your year in Korea was a bit rough around the edges. Yes, they do have problems with people not of their ethnicity, but that's isolation as much as anything - go to communities in the US where people are isolated and you'll find much the same thing. I've lived in Appalachia and Nebraska, and it ain't that much off of rural Korea. They're not really Buddhist, either - not like Tibet, for example. In some quarters the Buddhists are regared as money-grubbers, and this has led to a movement called "Original Buddhism" (Won Poolgyo) who are interesting people. But the culture is deeply confucian - read "confucius lives next door" (which is about Japan) and you'll get a good sense of how Korea ticks as well. It's very, very different from Western culture, but worth the effort - I married in to it 30 years ago and am still learning.
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BigMcLargehuge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #19
64. I read the North Korea entry on Pelton's website
he describes the poverty. But, he goes on at length about the cleanliness of the cities and complete lack of crime. He also goes into detail about the madness of Kim Jong Il...

North Korea is a fascinating place, but I don't want to live there.
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Trek234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
20. You are probably some what correct
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 06:51 PM by Trek234
I have a korean friend who had lived in Korea for years and frequently goes back during holidays to visit family.

He says that most koreans see each other as one. (no you're from the north/south mentality) He also says people can go back and forth between north/south at will. Apparently this is true at all checkpoints that are controlled by koreans, but the americans will usually not let you go.

He also thinks the south is a decent place to live with the north being relatively safe to visit.
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jackcgt Donating Member (60 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. I don't think you can exactly leave and come back. It doesn't
sound like there's an open border there. Besides, there are 1,000,000 DPRK troops on that border...

The execution was mentioned by Yevgeny Nazdratenko, Governor of the Maritime Province of the Russian Federation, at an informal news conference on 27 May 1996. The Governor said that the North Korean man, whose name was not mentioned, had been arrested in December 1995 in Vladivostok when he and two other North Korean nationals tried to leave Russia for South Korea on forged passports. According to Nazdratenko, the two remaining North Koreans were brought back to a prison in Vladivostok after the execution took place.

The current incident once again confirms Amnesty Internationals view that North Korean asylum seekers face serious consequences if forcibly returned to North Korea, the organization said. The Russian authorities, however, continue to send back North Koreans.

Amnesty International expressed concern about the fate of several North Koreans who were forcibly returned by the Russian authorities last year. One of these North Koreans, Song Chang Keun, was reportedly executed by North Korean officials on Russian territory. The North Korean authorities have denied this and maintain that Song Chang Keun enjoys the same rights and freedoms in North Korea as other North Koreans. They also deny that other forcibly returned North Koreans have faced human rights violations. Due to the closed nature of North Korea, Amnesty International is not able to confirm the statements of the North Korean authorities.
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Trek234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #26
35. Of course Mr. American
What could a Korean having lived in Korea POSSIBLY know about his own nation that you, an american getting information from 2nd hand sources, could not know?

I'll make sure to tell him an American who is not a Korean and has never been to Korea is telling him he is wrong. He can have a good laugh.
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Blitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. If North Koreans could come and go as they pleased
North Korea would, at this moment have a population of about 5. Use a little common sense.
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Trek234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. I don't know about north koreans
But he, as a south korean, is able to go back and forth at korean check points largely with out problem.
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ConservativeDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
22. Of COURSE the DPRK is evil! Dimwit!
Holy cow. A discussion out of a Freeper's wetdream.

The government of North Korea has starved 8 million of its own people so far, is starving more as we speak, 100,000 have escaped into China.

However, since you probably think this is all "Bush propaganda", let me point out a few websites for you.

Disaster relief.
IPS.
Reporters sans frontiers

The DPRK has also confessed to kidnapping Japanese for training their assassination squads and South Korean film directors and actresses so that "Dear Leader" could make cooky movies.

I could go on, but I've got better things to do. Enraged American - save some of that rage for truly horrific regimes around the world.

- C.D.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
24. of course not
I had the priviledge to spend almost an entire year in south korea, and during that time, i visited many of the mountains and temple cities. The place is heavily populated, and the north is less so according to statistics. Satellite photo's show a mountainous terrian... probably parts of the mountains by chosin reservoir are very beautiful if you're not fighting a chinese army.

The problem with korea is that they fought a modern war with post-ww2 weaponry all over their own bloody country for 3 years. They levelled the place and really destroyed things... that even with an "economic miracle" there is a long long way to go to achieve any semblance of western democracy... it is a state of war even today.

Korea is a very racist country, similar to japan and others of those far eastern nations. It is also still a repressive country keeping the masses under wraps to "win the great ongoing war."

I found korea to be arrogant, and ignorant for a theoretically buddhist nation. There was a very funny story about two korean buddhist lineages that had a big fighting championship to find out which was the most spiritual. .. uuhh beavis....

It is no suprise that in history, the northern kingdom of the chosun people (korean) was separate from the south chilla kingdom for 1000 years, so the precedent is there for being multiple kingdoms on that peninsula....

The funny thing is that korea has been invaded several times in recorded history and each time, the invader eventually just left voluntarily. I understand that completely given their style of agressive negotiation. I never want to go back, though indeed i loved the gardens at kyongju.
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paulk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
33. this is north korea
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Enraged American Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
39. This is all very sad.
In North Korea they're fed exaggerated propaganda stories about the US. What makes you think America doesn't brainwash it's own people?
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NicoleM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. okay
What makes you so sure that it's all propaganda?
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Enraged American Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #40
44. I'm not.
But I SUSPECT. They lie about Cuba; they lie about France (anti-Semitic, my ASS!); they can be exaggerating the situation in the DPRK.
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. they dont lie about france
The extreme arab populance has made life in france for jews unsettling
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. you didnt get my point
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 08:23 PM by Kamika
Im not saying theres any laws or stuff in france that are anti jewish im saying they get synagogues burnt down or just get beaten up by some group of arabs.

And this has been reported in newspapers, especially israeli ones. How french jews dont feel safe.

Im not saying france is anti semitic im saying i wouldnt want to be a jew in france when theres a mass arab immigration
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #48
67. Plenty of Jews
France USED to have plenty of Jews. It has a lot less since the French aided the Germans in eliminating most of them.
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 05:58 AM
Response to Reply #67
69. err
You mean vichy regime
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #69
70. And what nationality was the Vichy regime?
If you answer anything other than French, you ought to check a history book.
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #70
71. well its a rethorical error
Edited on Tue Sep-23-03 07:47 AM by Kamika
Its like saying americans dislike jews when only a select few.

You cant say "the french" helped kill jews when it was a select few french nazis that installed themselfes with the help of nazi germany.


Lets turn the tables.. nazi germany invades usa, installs some nazi president and with the help of german soldiers this president starts rounding up and killing jews. Would you say "the americans killed their jews"


Its both wrong rethorically and imo pretty insulting to the thousands of french in the resistance or the free french army etc.




Also how can you say they killed most of them, im not sure but i think france is the country in western europe with most jews.
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Blitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #44
51. Your ass may or may not be anti-semitic
I don't know and don't care but if you don't think that France has a very serious and growing anti-semitism problem, you're just not paying attention. If you want actual information about this, let me know and I'll be glad to provide it. However, I'll note that, in the course of this thread, you've been supplied with a wealth of supporting documentation for people's arguments and you have, in response, provided exactly zilch in the way of support for your positions. Maybe you should do some research before making one unsupported declaration after the next.
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Blitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #39
46. What's sad
is that someone sitting behind a computer in the united States of America with an incredible wealth of knowledge literally at his fingertips can manage to remain so willfully and stubbornly naive and ignorant. Peolpe posting in this thread have given you a great deal of material that you can start learning from but I feel that it won't do any good. You seem to be one of those people who will dismiss anything that doesn't correspond to his preconceived world view as "propoganda." I'll urge you again to get up and go there (if you can find a way in; I'm not sure what the current visa requirements are) so that you can see the mothers holding their starving babies for yourself. However, I'm afraid that even your own five senses won't convince you and you'll just rationalize what you saw as somehow being the fault of the U.S. or Imperialist Industrialist Cabal or PNAC or the VRWC or the BFEE or AEI or whatever your favorite bogeyman happens to be.

I mean, the Soviet Union collapsed more than a decade ago and you still think that what we know about that truly horrific regime is all propoganda.
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #46
54. There is no way they allow that
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 08:40 PM by Kamika
North korea only allow a very small handpicked group of tourists every year , and you can be sure you aint gonna see anything but what they want you to see.

North korea is the last really evil nation on our earth.. had this thread been about cuba i would probably agreed with the initial poster but never with north korea
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Blitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #54
79. Oh, I realize that
I never for a moment believed that the original poster intended to go to North Korea or even that (s)he had the means to actually get into that country. This thread wasn't so much about North Korea as it was about how bad the United States is ... you know, "hey, look at the Evil U.S.A. brainwashing its people about nice places like North Korea and the Soviet Union." It's not an uncommon theme, just taken to an uncommon extreme in this instance.

As for NK being the last really evil nation, well, I don't know about that. I'd put a few othe places in the "evil" pool, though NK may currently be the "most" evil, depending on one's judging criteria.
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
41. You have no clue what youre talking about
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 08:13 PM by Kamika
Seriously, you have no godamm clue what youre talking about. My parents are south korean and theyve told me horror stories of ppl that managed to escape to the south, the north korean goverment brainwashed their ppl, starve them to death and steals their life.



Let me say this, i hate Bush and his foreign policy but If he would say Vote for me in .04 and we will invade north korea, liberate its people, and turn it into a democracy, i would not only vote for him HAPPILY, id sign up too.
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Enraged American Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Good for you.
He could spend billions more and violate more civil liberties back home. Wooohooo!

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Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
42. There TOTALITARIAN!
It's a POLICE STATE!

It has an extremely corrupt government that brutalizes its people and enies them freedom.
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Enraged American Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #42
47. You never know
You don't KNOW what goes on in the detention facilities and jails where people, citizens and foreigners, are detained indefinitely here. All you know is what the media tells you. It seems cool while you're living here, but when you take a trip to France or Belgium and return to America you'd think you were in a police state. So I can't really say that America is the epitome of freedom.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
50. The place is a showcase for communism.
A worker's hell: A totalitarian police state, penured by incomepetence and nepotism.

Translation: The people starve, while those in power are ignorant.

NIGHTLINE did a profile last year about a couple who had to put their two daughters up in a state-run orphange. They lived in an underground dug-out with their four-year old son, gathering leaves for food, a diet enhanced by trapping the occasional wild sparrow. It was really sad.

You want America to be like that? I hope not. We should be helping them become more like America, where people do have enough to eat, at least.

One last thing, meant with all DU respect: Read some new authors.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/emergency/KP_FAM.htm

http://gbgm-umc.org/asia-pacific/korea/brfsum2.html

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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
52. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have fun in NK dude.

lol :D
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Avatar13 Donating Member (103 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
55. I don't buy into the assertion that the DPRK
can't be bought and overrun by corporations - there are larger problems in the DPRK that don't allow for these kind of concerns. The DPRK is a totalitarian military-police state that is led by an unmoving nepotistic dictatorship based on a cult of personality (like Stalin, but extensively moreso), supported by a military apparatus led by those related to that nepotistic dictatorship, whose sole purpose is to keep the republic intact through the intimidation of its people and its neighbours, the latter to extract concessions to temporarily placate its aggresive tendencies (read: policies) only to rattle their sabres again when the time comes for more concessions. It's a country that has purposely neglected the needs of its people to fill the trough of those who the government sees as essential to its survival (the leadership, the military, and their pet projects) so that they can live to die another day, but never fail to put on a brave face regarless of its hopelessness. Oh yeah, and it espouses communism/stalinism.

Is the DPRK Evil? Yes, stalinism or not. The US government can't stand the thought that the DPRK can't be bought and overrun by so-and-so? I don't think it matters, because we can't even answer the question of whether or not they're truly interested in talking with others to bring about change. There are larger issues that need to be addressed by both the DPRK and the rest of the world before heading down that road.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
56. A perspective from Japan
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 10:51 PM by Art_from_Ark
North Korea has kidnapped Japanese and South Korean nationals in the recent past-- this is a fact, and North Korea has even admitted to it. A few lucky Japanese have been repatriated, and their stories are not so glowing about their life in North Korea.

North Korea has on numerous occasions violated Japanese and South Korean territorial waters. In Japan's case, at least, this includes military cat-and-mouse games (with the "mouse" getting caught at times), incursions with the intent to kidnap Japanese citizens, and using Japan as a dumping ground for ships that are in too wretched condition, even by North Korean standards. There are about a dozen of these wrecks scattered along the Japanese coast, including one that is just an hour's drive away from me that has been declared a "hazardous waste site".

There have been a couple of pseudo-documentaries about North Korea on Japanese television recently. One was about a package tour from Japan to the Korean Peninsula that included a two- or three-day, heavily supervised visit to North Korea (sort of like Intourist in the '80s). It was a stunningly beautiful place, but the visitors were constantly being reprimanded by their guide for stepping in the wrong place, or looking in the wrong direction. A second "infraction" would result in a fine! Cost for the three-day tour-- about US$1000.

The second, and more detailed, pseudo-documentary was made by a Japanese film crew that had received special permission from the North Korean government for the project. The film crew's every move was strictly controlled, from the time they entered North Korean airspace until the time they left it. They were confined to a hotel where the electricity was sporadic at best. They could not leave the hotel unless escorted by their "guide", and they could not film people moving about the city of Pyongyang (which was mostly deserted) without permission. They could not talk to anyone without permission, either. They couldn't even film the purchase of lunch from a local street vendor.

They were able to film a couple of people digging for clams in a local riverbed. The method used to cook the clams was interesting, to say the least. The clamdiggers siphoned some gasoline out of a car and sprayed it directly on the clams, then lit it.

At the end of the film, the crew visited a local elementary school. They were herded into a windowless room where they met some local schoolchildren. When asked for his impressions of North Korea, one of the crew responded that he hoped that one day, Japanese and North Koreans could be friends. His response was meet with an icy silence.
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Avatar13 Donating Member (103 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #56
58. Re: "A perspective from Japan"
North Korea has kidnapped Japanese and South Korean nationals in the recent past-- this is a fact, and North Korea has even admitted to it. A few lucky Japanese have been repatriated, and their stories are not so glowing about their life in North Korea.

Six, I believe the number was. Six were repatriated, but some of them have children who are still in North Korea, presumably to keep as "hostages" just in case the parents say something unflattering about the dear leader or his government. It was hoped that the issue would be discussed at the six-nation summit that took place in Beijing a month ago, but North Korea considered the matter "settled" which probably means that the Japanese would have to sweeten whatever aid package they had earmarked for NK when the next round of negotiations begin to put the issue back on the table.

Also, it's known that the DPRK manufactures drugs (LSDs and hallucinogens) and smuggles them to countries across the Asia-Pacific Rim, including Japan and Australia. The Japanese authorities have been moderately successful in busting up yakuza-sponsored smuggling and distribution rings, but the high potential payoff of successful "transactions" still motivate the DPRK and the yakuza to continue this practice
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Nevernose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
57. Was Pol Pot just misunderstood?
n/t
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david_vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
59. Koreans
as a people, North or South, seem to be a pretty heavily medicated bunch. Since the cold war ended and we're also palsy-walsy with China now, I honestly think we should just pull all of our troops out and leave them to their fate, which will probably mean the entire Korean peninsula choking to death while trying to swallow live whole octopuses (ok! I know it's really supposed to be octopodes!)
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Avatar13 Donating Member (103 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #59
62. Well, there is the problem of nuclear proliferation
and the sales of nuclear arms to not-so-friendly states and organizations, not to mention the nukes could be let loose in heavily populated areas in East Asia, like Japan and SKorea. And if the NKoreans finish developing their long-range Taepodong (sp) missiles, the Northwestern states would be in danger. Can't take that risk, so there are reasons to keep troops nearby.

The US is also interested in keeping the geopolitical balance in EAsia, especially with respect to China. As long as there is a degree of predictability in the Korean peninsula, the Chinese would be more hesitant to flex their muscle within their region, and that would be a good thing, for the US and Taiwan. I don't think the US is palsy-walsy enough with the Chinese to trust them to handle the situation properly.

And I didn't really understand what you meant by Koreans being a medicated bunch.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
60. Go to the DMZ and look north
On a decent day, you'll see huge smoke clouds. North Korea practices slash and burn agriculture. Because they have no fertilizer, they can't reuse a field once their crop pulls all the minerals out of it; the only solution is to start a new one.

They have no fertilizer, no arable land in private hands (and very little to begin with), no food, the Worst Sitting Dictator in charge...don't go there.
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Snow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
61. Coupla general comments to the group.....
Sources of any sort often have their own biases. This includes governments (duh!) but also people who have left a country for whatever reason. Knowing refugees from country X can be insightful but can be misleading as well, in part because the refugee left because they didn't like the place, but also in part because even when you live in a particular place your perspective is limited. I find it ironic but nevertheless true that I can understand the US more clearly when I'm living somewhere else - in fact, the further the better. So you need to look at several different authoritative sources, and strike a balance. It's like the cliche of the blind men and the elephant. I've been an American in Korean culture for some time, and the more you learn the less you know. I have little doubt that the North is a mess, that people are suffering. That Kim Jongil is an incompetent twerp I'm fairly assured of - is he deliberately evil? I don't know but I'm a bit more comfortable with that than I am with his father, Kim Ilsung having been evil. I think Kim Ilsung was opportunistic, but I think he was also a patriot who honestly wanted to isolate his country from the thieving capitalist nations who had been invading other Asian countries and Korea as well. His fear was justified, and he relied upon Russia as part of a long tradition. A great Korean patriot of the last century, Queen Min, did her best to counter the Japanese (and covert American) takeover with Russian help. So the whole division of the peninsula is much more about geography and traditional patrons than it is about politics. When I was there in the Peace Corps, the ruler (in the south) was Pak Chunghee, an austere but very non-corrupt man who implemented policies that were obviously Stalinist. They worked, though, and were later removed (the Saemaul movement is a strong example of this). Resources in the south have traditionally been agricultural - they have broad, open plains - while the North has mineral deposits and mountains. They used to have hydropower generators, that have unfortunately been lost, and manufacturing capabilities, ditto.

Granted, there were traditional provincial rivalries in the country, but not particularly along the 38th parallel. Silla unified the country, but there was a period of three kingdoms, still almost a legendary time. East-west rivalries seem to me as strong as north-south rivalries, though. By the way, someone mentioned North Koreans eating "rock". I think you're referring to the edible soils, clays, actually, that are found in some parts of Korea - and the southern US. People have been able to survive for a little while during hardships eating that stuff. My mother-in-law had resorted to that for a short time during the Korean war. Anyway, long post. I hope we've educated each other a bit.....
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SmileyBoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
63. If North Korea is socialist, then I'm an NFL superstar.
North Korea is a 100 percent Stalinesque Communist Totalitarian Dictatorship. there's NOTHING GOOD about the system there. The schools' political indoctrination of students and childern is many times worse than even in this country. At least here, you have the option of learning alternative viewpoints. Only the population of Pyongyang is either middle-class or wealthy, and ALL of them have to be Communist Party members. The rest of the country is a clusterfuck. People are starving, and I REALLY don't think that most people are getting decent health care there.

You may have debateable material on Cuba's system, while still communist, leans more towards self-reliance, but the way of life North Korea is nothing but AWFUL for 90 percent of the people there. Even the British PBS crew for that Wide Angle series wasn't allowed by the government to get a decent objective view of the country. They were only allowed to follow around the rich Communist Party-member families.
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yaledem Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 12:07 AM
Response to Original message
66. A Kucinich supporter favors spending 33% of the GDP on the military? Wow.
I think its kind of ironic that a Kucinich supporter is praising the DPRK when it spends about 33% of its GDP on the military. The US spends 3-4% of GDP on the military, and DK favors a reduction in military spending (a position I respect very much).

Note - I am an ardent supporter of free speech, and believe that no topic should be off-limits. That being said, praising anything about the DPRK is pretty out there, to say the least. Thats just my opinion, of course, and you're welcome to your own.
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jiacinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
72. Is this a serious question?
NK is a horrible place to live, filled with totalitarianism and poverty. This rivals the statement that "Sadaam was the best thing to happen to Iraq"--written in another thread by another DUer--in the level of its absuridity.
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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
73. WOW
My opinion of Kunicich just went completely down the tubes. Please tell me that all hius supporters are not so blinded by hatred of the US that they think even North Korea is a pleasant place to be? That may be the most blatent example of moral blindness I have EVER seen...
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DealsGapRider Donating Member (650 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
74. What a joke.
Can I say that Enraged American is an ignorant jackass without violating DU rules?
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Liberal Classic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
75. NK is an indefensible totalitarian state
I would never call it socialist. Just because they claim something doesn't mean it is true. Sweden is a socialist country. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a stalinist-theocracy nightmare. On one hand it has the third or fourth largest standing army in the world while on the other the nation is unable to feed itself. Their citizens are brainwashed in the worst possible Orwellian sense.

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Snow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #75
76. Very good point - visit Sweden
there's a country that's got socialism working well....
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Liberal Classic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #76
78. Regardless of Sweden's economic situation at the moment
They might not be perfect buy they aren't a page out of 1984.

I'd rather live in Sweden or Finland than in North Korea or Cuba.
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Character Assassin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
77. It's not evil; it's flat-out, mouth-breating, pig-eyed evil
For a primer that should dispell any questions you have about 'what really goes on' in their 'detention centers', more properly called gulags, try The Aquariums of PyongYang, from a former 'guest' of one.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/046501102...
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Blitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
80. Can I ask you a serious question?
You wrote in your initial post that "I have researched it (North Korea) extensively." What did you research? What were your source materials and what has brought you to the conclusion that "North Korea is the epitome of socialism?"

Oh, and as for visiting North Korea, here's where you can start:

http://www.asiavacationguide.com/NorthKorea_Overview.ht...
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